Reasons Behind Going Veg
Catherine Puglisi writes, "...it just blows my mind how so many
people that have become Vegetarians/Vegans would still crave the taste of
dead flesh, blood and meat... I imagine that the food industry is just
catering to the meat lovers."
There is a certain logic to your argument. Would anyone abstaining from cannibalism want to try mock-human-flesh?
On the other hand, we were all raised as meat-eaters, and as I stated in a previous posting, meat and dairy analogs provide us with familiar tastes --- WITHOUT THE CRUELTY.
The food industry might be "catering to the meat-lovers" but if it makes it easier for people to go veg and cruelty-free, like wearing fake fur and/or fake leather ("pleather") in place of real fur and leather, or replacements to animal experimentation, what's wrong with that?
I've heard that when margarine was first introduced due to war rationing during the Second World War, it was looked upon with suspicion. Now it's used all the time in place of butter, and people don't think twice about it. Similarly, if meat and dairy analogs are everywhere in supermarket chains, it will make it easier for people to transition to a plant-based diet.
I think we need to focus instead on the motivation behind going veg. The late Reverend Janet Regina Hyland (1933 - 2007), author of God's Covenant with Animals (it's available through People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA) once said to me in a phone conversation that Ingrid Newkirk (co-founder, PETA), an atheist, probably doesn't care if one goes veg for religious or secular reasons.
Well, that's true, but my own experience has been that there must be an ethical basis for one's veg*ism, otherwise one is likely to backslide. As an example, in the late '80s, I met a woman with San Diego Animal Advocates. She said when she first became a vegetarian, she was doing so for health reasons, and didn't think a piece of turkey at Thanksgiving would hurt her. But she said when she learned about animal rights, factory farming, the abuse of animals, etc... she said she won't touch a piece of meat, period!
Apart from animal rights, we have many powerful human rights and social justice arguments on our side: global hunger, global warming, the energy, environmental, population and water crises, worker's rights, etc.
As a Christian minister, Regina Hyland was put off by so-called "Christians" going veg for health reasons, but saying the Bible condones the mistreatment of animals, etc. When I told Regina in 1997 that Carol Crossed (now with Democrats For Life), a leader on the religious left, is a self-described vegetarian based on concern for global hunger, and involved with the Christian anti-hunger charity Bread for the World, Regina acknowledged that's a valid reason to go veg.